It’s normal to wish you were married because our society cherishes and celebrates couples. What do you do when you hear about a 50th or 75th wedding anniversary? Cheer! How do you respond to an engagement or wedding announcement? Celebrate! Of course you want to be married; we put marriage – and especially weddings – at the top of list of things to be cherished and sought after (even though many marriages end in divorce).
Obsessing about marriage is normal – whether you have a boyfriend, just broke up, or have never even been in a relationship. You’re not alone if you keep thinking, “I want to get married.”
I didn’t get married until I was 35, and I thought it would never happen. Now, looking back on those days when I yearned to get married, I wish I knew what I know now. Since I can’t give myself that advice, I thought I’d share it here with you…
To benefit from my tips, you need to know why you want to get married so badly. What do you think marriage will bring to your life? Getting clear on your reasons will help you live happily until you meet the right person to marry.
Before I got married I spent a lot of time learning how to be happy single when I wished I was married. Recently I received a comment from a reader who is so sad she never married that she actually wishes she was divorced. She’d rather have experienced a marriage breakdown than a life of being single because all she thinks now is “I wish I was married.”
Maybe you see yourself in her story. Getting married is all you think about…so much so that you’d rather be divorced than always single.
How to Cope When You Keep Thinking “I Want to Get Married”
When I was single in my 30s, I adjusted to the idea of never getting married. I never gave up hope but I didn’t expect to find someone to spend my life with. I kept dating — and I made it fun and interesting! I approached every new guy with curiosity and willingness, and treated every new date like an adventure.
But even so, I got tired of dating. I often felt hopeless even though I knew my happiness couldn’t depend on a man. Now, looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have wasted my time and energy being sad that I was single. I wish I would’ve used my time, energy, creativity and resources to do pursue joy and peace, instead of grieving my single status. I wish I would’ve learned how to be happy single.
1. Know that marriage won’t make you happy
When you’re not married it’s so easy to assume that marriage will make you happy. It’s easy to yearn for a husband and daydream about the bliss of married life. It’s even easier to fantasize about a big wedding and romantic honeymoon, and to picture the beautiful home and children you’ll have together.
It’s easy to think marriage will make you happy, but it’s a lie. Marriage won’t make you happier than you already are.
If you’re not happy as a single woman, then you won’t be happy married. Marriage isn’t the source of joy, peace, fulfillment, or emotional freedom. In fact, marriage can bring more pain, grief, problems and struggles than you’re prepared for. It’s hard to imagine, but the truth is that some women are better off thinking “I wish I was married” than “How do I live with a man I wish I had never married?”
2. Admit how much you care what people think
“For appearance’s sake I wish I could say I was divorced rather than never married,” says a She Blossoms reader on When You’re Tired of Being Alone. “It’s very hard not feeling like something is different or wrong with me. The rest of society pairs up between the ages of 28 and 33. I had an affair with a married man. It reinforced the insecurities and doubts I have about the fact that I’ve never been married.”
We all care what people think of us — and it’s important to remember that married women care just as much as single women what people think! If you’re struggling with “I want to get married” feelings because you want to control and manage your image, then you’ll never be free. That is a trap that goes on forever.
It’s normal to care what people think…but it’s healthy more life-giving to accept yourself the way you are. God create you for a reason; your married or single status is exactly where He wants you right now. Instead of wrestling with what people think of you as a single woman, focus on your relationship with God. Who are you, what is the purpose of your life? Deal with your insecurities, fears and anxieties by growing closer to God through Jesus Christ.
3. Don’t let sadness or disappointment overshadow your life
Work through your grief by going beyond your vague “I’m sad because I’ve never been married” feelings. Grieving is painful, but living with sadness and disappointment is worse. To feel better you need to grieve your disappointment at never getting married, and refuse to let sadness overshadow your life.
It’s difficult but important to dig in to your specific feelings. Just becoming aware of how you feel about never being married – actually grieving the pain you feel – will start the healing process.
4. Handle your feelings of being socially outcast
Being a single woman can be make you feel socially awkward, outcast, and even rejected. You may feel like you’re not good enough for marriage (which may be you’re obsessing with “I want to get married” thoughts). Maybe you think having a husband will make you more popular and accepted, more included and loved. Like you belong. Maybe you feel like everyone else is in love – or at least married – except you. Maybe you don’t feel normal or healthy. Maybe you’re even tempted to wear a ring on your wedding finger so people think you’re married.
Being a single woman over 40 isn’t easy…especially if you yearn for marriage. It’s hard.
Again, it’s difficult but important to work through your feelings. Feeling the pain is part of the healing process. Accept your sadness, and grieve the loss of your dreams. You’ve lost something really important to you, something that you were literally created to be part of. Take time to honor your feelings.
5. Know that being married is not “better” than being single
When I finally got married at 35, I thought we’d live happily ever after. But you know what? We discovered we couldn’t have children. We didn’t want to adopt or foster kids, and the fertility treatments we tried didn’t work. So then I had to learn how to be happy without children. And that’s a whole different type of grief!
No matter what life you’re given – whether you’re married, divorced, single, widowed – there is always, always a thorn in the rose. If you get married, you’ll find stuff to be sad about. If you have children, you’ll have problems to deal with. If you get divorced, you’ll have to start over. If you’re widowed, you may one day grieve the death of your husband.
If you’re not happy as a single woman, you won’t be happy married. True joy, peace and emotional freedom comes from a deep, life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ. A husband is a wonderful gift, but no man can make you happy. Only God can fill the yearning in your heart. You may think you’re yearning for marriage, but the truth is you’re yearning for God. He created you, He is calling you, and you won’t find joy or peace anywhere else but in Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.
6. Let go of the past
If you’re grieving a breakup, read How to Let of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets (and 75 Tips!) for Healing Your Heart. In it I share valuable insights and comfort for women who are alone after a breakup or divorce from a man they love.
It’s an ebook, so it’s immediately available. It’s about much more than dealing with “I wish I was married” thoughts. How to Let Go of Someone You Love will help you move forward in your life.
What do you think? Your comments – big and little – are welcome! Writing is one of the best ways to replace those “I wish I was married” ideas with healthier thoughts. Feel free to share what you think and how you feel below.